Posted on Mar 14, 2019, 5 p.m.
A study from University College and Anglia Ruskin University has found seniors who report any type of sexual activity within the previous 12 months, including just fooling around showed greater levels of enjoyment and wellbeing in their lives, as published in the journal Sexual Medicine.
Findings were based on survey data from 6,879 participants who were on average 65 years old. Differences between genders were found based on the types of sexual activity. Women may improve wellbeing from more intimate touching than from the act of intercourse; women who specifically reported greater frequency of kissing, petting, and fondling felt more satisfaction in their lives, and felt emotionally closer to their partners during sex but intercourse did not significantly improve their overall levels of contentment in life.
Men who were happy with their sex lives and had intercourse more frequently reported having greater enjoyment in life overall; not surprisingly having intercourse was more crucial for the men to feel content whereas women’s wellbeing was more connected to affectionate acts.
Dr. Lee Smith suggest that “health professionals should acknowledge that older adults are not asexual, and a frequent problem free sex life in these populations is related to better wellbeing. More often than not encouragement to try new positions and to explore different types of sexual activities is not given to these ageing populations.”
Another study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences conducted by Coventry University found seniors between the ages of 50-83 with an active sex life scored higher on cognitive testing than those who were less active. Seniors were tested in areas of attention, memory, language, fluency, and visuospatial activity, it was determined those who had intercourse at least once a week had the highest scores, particularly in the area of verbal fluency.
Dr. Hayley Wright says, “Typically people don’t like to think that seniors have sex, but this conception needs to be challenged at a societal level, and we need to look at what the impact of sexual activity can have on those 50+, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing. Every piece of research brings us one step closer to understanding the underlying mechanisms and whether there is a cause and effect relationship between sexual activity and cognitive functions of older populations”
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